Iceni products PDF parser stack buffer overflow

ID VU:225833
Type cert
Reporter CERT
Modified 2013-12-02T00:00:00



Iceni Argus and Infix contain a stack buffer overflow in the handling of flate-compressed PDF content, which can allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system.


Iceni Argus is a PDF conversion library. Argus 6.20 and earlier fail to properly handle malformed flate-compressed content in PDF documents, resulting in a stack buffer overflow. Other Argus applications that share the same codebase with Argus may also be affected. We have confirmed that Iceni Infix 5.04 is affected by this vulnerability.


By causing the Iceni PDF library to parse a specially-crafted PDF document, a remote, unauthenticated attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the application using the library.


We are currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem. Please consider the following workarounds.

Use the Microsoft Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit

The Microsoft Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) can be used to help prevent exploitation of these vulnerabilities.

Enable DEP in Microsoft Windows

Consider enabling Data Execution Prevention (DEP) in supported versions of Windows. DEP should not be treated as a complete workaround, but it can mitigate the execution of attacker-supplied code in some cases. Microsoft has published detailed technical information about DEP in Security Research & Defense blog posts "Understanding DEP as a mitigation technology" part 1 and part 2. DEP should be used in conjunction with the application of patches or other mitigations described in this document.

Note that when relying on DEP for exploit mitigation, it is important to use a system that supports Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) as well. ASLR is not supported by Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 or earlier. ASLR was introduced with Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. Please see the Microsoft SRD blog entry: On the effectiveness of DEP and ASLR for more details.

Vendor Information

Vendor| Status| Date Notified| Date Updated
iceni technology| | 06 May 2011| 05 Oct 2011
MarkLogic Corporation| | 26 Nov 2013| 02 Dec 2013
If you are a vendor and your product is affected, let us know.

CVSS Metrics

Group | Score | Vector
Base | 9.0 | AV:N/AC:M/Au:N/C:C/I:C/A:P
Temporal | 8.1 | E:POC/RL:U/RC:C
Environmental | 6.1 | CDP:ND/TD:M/CR:ND/IR:ND/AR:ND


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This vulnerability was reported by Will Dormann of the CERT/CC.

This document was written by Will Dormann.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CVE-2011-3332
  • Date Public: 05 Oct 2011
  • Date First Published: 05 Oct 2011
  • Date Last Updated: 02 Dec 2013
  • Severity Metric: 10.71
  • Document Revision: 31